Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review for Apologetics315

As I look back at 2010 it seems liked it was such a busy year for Apologetics 315. So this post will just take a quick look back at some of the notable posts and projects here at Apologetics 315.

First, the Apologist Interviews Podcast became a weekly feature of the blog. There have been about 50 interviews this year with some notable apologists. Check out this link for a partial listing and links to subscribe to the podcast.

There were two large essay projects that involved many other contributors. The Is Christianity True? Podcast & Essay Series was a series of 23 1000-word short essays by apologist bloggers as they presented concise reasons why they believe Christianity is true. Each weekday during April a different blogger presented his essay and interacted with comments. Designed to be an outreach tool and brief introductory tool to some basic apologetic arguments, this series generated good interaction and is still being commented on.

The second podcast and essay series was designed to answer the common question: "How Do I Get Apologetics in My Church?" This was also a very enjoyable time of interacting with a wide variety of lay-apologists as they shared how they started apologetics classes, ministries, and outreaches in their own church homes. A great resource! Find it here.

As for book reviews, it was a fun year. There were over 25, with an emphasis on books dealing with atheism. The Grand Design review was also featured in Areopagus Journal, as was On Guard by William Lane Craig and The Future of Atheism by McGrath & Dennett. Be sure to check out the full listing of book reviews here.

In addition to reviews, products have been reviewed, such as the Tactics in Defending the Faith DVD series, the Biola Distance Learning Certificate in Apologetics, and The Reason for God DVD / study, and William Lane Craig's Philosophy of Religion Course.

Another new regular feature of the blog has been the weekly apologetics bonus links. Every week a summary of notable links is provided from around the web, highlighting some of the best or most useful items for reading or review along the lines of apologetics. Those can be found here.

Notable debates featured this year included:
Lewis Wolport vs Russell Cowburn
Stephen Meyer vs. Peter Atkins
Matt Slick vs. Eddie Tabash
Jay Richards vs. Christopher Hitchens
Dinesh D'Souza vs. John Loftus
Hugh Ross vs. Jason Lisle
Craig Evans vs. Bart Ehrman
Sean McDowell vs. James Corbett
Michael Brown vs. Bart Ehrman
Michael Licona vs. Richard Carrier
William Lane Craig vs. Massimo Pigliucci
Peter S. Williams vs. Peter Cave
Walter Martin vs. Van Hale
Alister McGrath vs. Daniel Dennett
Matthew Flannagan vs. Raymond Bradley
William Lane Craig vs. Yusuf Ismail
Matt Slick vs. Dan Barker
Alan Schlemon vs. Ceclili Chadwick
Craig, Geivett & Wolpe vs. Dawkins, Shermer & Ridley

This year Ap315 also reached a milestone in the number of posts -- passing the 1000-mark. Also featured was a small series of posts called the Apologist's Toolkit, which covered things like tips for lifelong learning and living an apologetic life.

On a personal note, it was also a fulfilling year starting Reasonable Faith Belfast, earning a Competent Communicator Award with Toastmasters (and winning a prize in a speech competition), doing a few radio interviews, and teaching apologetics.

In sum, 2010 has been a really great year. I want to thank all of the great apologists who contribute so much to the defense of Christianity. Also, I want to thank all of the wonderful contributors to the essay series, my fellow apologetics bloggers (you know who your are!), and all the loyal readers and commenters. Thanks for your contribution!

May God bless you in 2011!
- Brian Auten of Apologetics 315

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Apologetics Ministries to Support

With the end of the year upon us, please consider supporting some excellent apologetics ministries. Listed here are some that you may consider supporting with your gift.

Reasonable Faith / William Lane Craig - Support here.
Stand to Reason / Greg Koukl - Support here.
Summit Ministries - Support here.
Probe Ministries - Support here.
Come Reason Ministries - Support here.
CARM - Support here.
Apologetics Resource Center - Support here.
Alpha & Omega Ministries / James White - Support here.
Ravi Zacharias International - Support here.
Reasons to Believe / Hugh Ross - Support here.
The Veritas Forum - Support here.
BeThinking - Support here. - Support here.
Confident Christianity / MaryJo Sharp - Click donations tab.
Biblical Training - Support here.
Or, you can also send books to Apologetics315! (no tax deduction there!)

Thanks for your support.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Responses to Notable Skeptics

The Truthbomb Apologetics blog has put together a growing one-stop resource for responses to notable skeptics, including Dan Barker, Richard Carrier, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Bart Ehrman, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and more.

Check it out here.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Teacher Interview: Mark Eckel

Today's interview is with Dr. Mark Eckel, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Old Testament at Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, IN. He is a notable voice in Christian teaching, having written Christian worldview curriculum for schools. He talks about our teacher/student relationship, learning in community, the influence of Francis Schaeffer in his thinking and teaching, what we can learn from Schaeffer today, the balance between generalizing and specializing, the intertwining of apologetics and evangelism, doing cultural apologetics, the mentoring/student relationship, lifelong learning and passion, the discipline of learning and focus, advice for apologists, and more. A rich interview with lots of good nuggets.

Mark's blog is here at

Particulars mentioned in the interview:
• Francis Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live? DVD series
C. S. Lewis & Francis Schaeffer: Lessons for a New Century from the Most Influential Apologists of Our Time
• This encounter
• Androgogy
ISI "A Student's Guide to..."

Full Interview Mp3 Audio here. (57 min)

Books by Mark Eckel:
Timeless Truth: An Apologetic for the Reliability, Authenticity and Authority of the Bible
• The Whole Truth
• Rewired: A Teen Worldview Curriculum
• Perspectives on Your Child's Education: Four Views
• Let God Be God (A Study of the Attributes of God)
• Biblical Integration: Understanding the World, Through the Word


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Quote: Paul L. Maier on Jesus

"Anybody who tries to use the argument that Jesus of Nazareth never existed [as a verifiable historical figure] is simply flaunting his or her ignorance. There is no serious question in the mind of any serious scholar, anywhere in the world that there certainly was a historical personality named Jesus of Nazareth. Now you can argue if he was the Son of God or not, argue about the supernatural aspects of his life, but in terms of the historical character of Jesus, all the evidence is in favour."

- Historian Paul L. Maier
[HT: Faith Interface]

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from Apologetics 315!

Merry Christmas to all!

Apologetics 315 will be back on Sunday.

Enjoy a Happy Christmas with family and friends.

“A man can’t always be defending the truth; there must be time to feed on it” - C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Assessing Mysticism by Doug Groothuis MP3 Audio

In this lecture, philosopher Doug Groothuis explores the area of mystical experiences and critiques non-dualism, Buddhism, and other non-Christian mysticism. He also examines the biblical view of religious experience in general, making the case that biblical mysticism is rooted in history, is personal, rational, moral, transcendent, transformative, and redemptive. He also includes a few helpful insights on the practice of yoga. This lecture is part of this series of talks.

Full MP3 Audio here.


See also Unmasking the New Age by Douglas Groothuis.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Apologist Interview: Lindsay Brooks

Today's interview is with Lindsay Brooks, staff apologist of He talks about his work with, the area of aesthetics (or philosophy of beauty), the nature of beauty itself, aesthetics and arguments from design, the argument from desire, the idea of objective beauty, the difference between beauty and taste, the arts in worship, literary apologetics and music, and advice to fellow Christian apologists.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here. (43 min)

For more interviews, subscribe to the Apologetics 315 Interviews podcast here or in iTunes.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Quote: C.S. Lewis on Naturalism

"If all that exists is Nature, the great mindless interlocking event, if our own deepest convictions are merely the by-products of an irrational process, then clearly there is not the slightest ground for supposing that our sense of fitness and our consequent faith in uniformity tell us anything about a reality external to ourselves. Our convictions are simply a fact about us-like the colour of our hair. If Naturalism is true we have no reason to trust our conviction that Nature is uniform."

- C.S. Lewis, Miracles, p.109

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saddleback's Annual Apologetics Weekend: Who is Jesus?

This is Saddleback Church's 2nd annual apologetics weekend. These are five lectures on the topic of: Who is Jesus? Audio is linked below. For video, click through to the media channels.

• Chris Wright: Jesus Before He Was Born
• Scott McKnight: The Radical Message of Jesus
• Peter Kreeft: The Shocking Life of Jesus
• Greg Koukl: Jesus' Miraculous Death & Resurrection
• Philipp Yancey: The Jesus Left Behind - The Body of Christ

Saddleback audio and video channels here. Podcast in iTunes here.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekly Apologetics Bonus Links (12/10 - 12/17)

Here are this week's recommended apologetics links. Enjoy.
An Apologetic Church
Scientism gone bad
Top 50 Blogs by Theology Professors
Responding to the mocking of Christmas
Christmas GiveAway: 3 Apologetics Books
Looking for New Christian Blogs To Feature
Philosophy Word of the Day – Naturalistic Fallacy
Why Christians Should Donate Money
Book Review: Theism and Ultimate Explanation
Debates 2011: William Lane Craig, Sam Harris, Lawrence Krauss
Alvin Plantinga: Science & Religion – Where the Conflict Really Lies (video)
James M. Grier’s “Building a Christian Worldview” audio series
Fallacies [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] 
Does infinity exist and if it does not; can God exist? 
Gravity Does Not Account For Itself
William Lane Craig on the Incarnation (Video)
Stand to Reason Blog: Is Inerrancy Necessary? (Video)
Michael Behe's New Paper in Quarterly Review of Biology Now Available for Download
Did Jesus Really Exist? Bart Ehrman Thinks So
Sources for the Historical Jesus
The Essential — But Missing — Prologue To All Apologetics
Audio: NT Wright at The King’s College in New York City
William Lane Craig Q&A: Is Unbelief Culpable?

Do your holiday shopping with this link and help Apologetics315 - Thanks!

Get these sorts of links and more by following on Twitter. Or just add this feed to your RSS reader

Scientism by Lee Strobel MP3 Audio

In this talk, Lee Strobel looks at the relationship between faith and science, presenting some of the scientific evidences that point to a Creator. His talk covers some of the content he lays out in The Case for a Creator as well as examining the point of view of scientism, as displayed in Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design. This lecture is part of this series of talks. Includes a Q&A at the end.

Full MP3 Audio here.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas GiveAway Winners

As a Christmas gift to readers, Apologetics 315 is giving away one free apologetics book to three different readers/followers of the blog via Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter subscriber or Google Friend Connect follower (see right column). Here are the random drawing winners:

1. winteryknight - Evidence for God
2. Carl - Evidence for God
3. Robert - Pocket Handbook of Christian Apologetics

Thanks for following - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Christmas GiveAway: 3 Apologetics Books

As a Christmas gift to readers, Apologetics 315 is giving away one free apologetics book to three different readers/followers of the blog. If you are a Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter subscriber or Google Friend Connect follower (see right column) here's how you enter the drawing:

1. Please follow as mentioned above (if you don't already)
2. Select a book from the Top 5 Books for Christmas Giving 
3. Leave a comment below mentioning which one of those books you would like to receive.

Three winners will be chosen at random on December 23rd and notified on the blog.

Here's hoping you win!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

EPS Apologetics Conference Audio Online

The Evangelical Philosophical Society (EPS) website has made all of their past apologetics conference audio available for download. The price is 1.99 per download, but the speakers and the content are high quality. Browse by year here or browse by topic below:
• Apologetics Introduction
• Arguments & Objections for God
• The Historical Jesus
• Islam
• Law and Religion
• Philosophy and Theology
• Postmodernism/Emergent Church
• Science and Religion
• Suffering and Problem of Evil
• Apologetics, Church and Discipleship
• Culture and Worldview
• World Religions and Pluralism
• Reliability of the Bible
Apologetics for Youth

Check it out here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Historian Interview: Paul L. Maier

Today's interview is with Paul L. Maier, the Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University and a much-published author of both scholarly and popular works. He talks about his background as an historian, the existence of Jesus, his debate with Dan Barker, the pagan myth accusation, ancient sources for the life of Jesus, the historicity of the first Christmas, and more.

Full Interview MP3 Audio here (47 min).

Dr. Maier's books include:
• Eusebius: The Church History
• In the Fullness of Time: A Historian Looks at Christmas, Easter, and the Early Church
• The Flames of Rome: A Novel
• The Very First Christmas


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Quote: Nick Pollard on Worldviews

"As inviduals develop, they do seem to adopt certain answers to the fundamental questions of life. These answers are put together into a comprehensive system - a view of the world. At the same time, however, this view of the world becomes the way they view the world. It becomes the spectacles through which they look, the grid upon which they organize reality. This view affects the way they answer the fundamental questions of life, and so on. If we understand worldviews this way, we can see why they are so hard to change. They tend to become firmly entrenched because they constantly reinforce themselves through the self-sustaining feedback loop."

- Nick Pollard, Evangelism Made Slighly Less Difficult, 35-36

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Books Not Reviewed This Year

The end of the year approaches. Thursday's post about the Book Review Index brings to mind all the books that I didn't have the time to review this year. And since it is two week's till Christmas, perhaps this list of books that were read but not reviewed will spark some ideas for gifts or for your own wish list. So here are the books that weren't reviewed, with a sentence or two on each...

• How Do You Know You're Not Wrong by Paul Copan
• That's Just Your Interpretation by Paul Copan
• True for You But Not for Me by Paul Copan
• When God Goes to Starbucks by Paul Copan
Really, anything by Copan is worth getting. These were all great.
Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science edited by William Dembski & Michael Licona - What a great book just jam-packed with wonderful essays.
The God Conversation by J.P. Moreland & Tim Muehlhoff - Moreland breaks the difficult stuff down and uses stories and illustrations to communicate it better.
The Universe Next Door by James Sire - The classic by Sire. Required reading for all.
When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences by Norman Geisler & Ronald Brooks - Lots of good answers. Your typical go-to book.
Not God's Type: A Rational Academic Finds a Radical Faith by Holly Ordway - A wonderful read. Quick, but refreshing.
The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask by Mark Mittelberg - Tackles common questions in a way that is accessible to the layman.
Reasons for Faith: Making a Case for the Christian Faith by Norman Geisler & Chad Meister - A good general apologetics book with some real good nuggets on the relational side of things.
Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Kreeft & Tacelli - One of the best all-in-one summa's among apologetics resources.
The Infidel Delusion by Triablogue - The Triablogue guys hit a home run with this one... and free!

Time & Eternity by William Lane Craig - Fascinating, but a real brain-bender in certain parts.

5 Minute Theologian by Rick Cornish - Offers brief pages on 100 theological issues.
Christian Beliefs: 20 Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne Grudem - A great beginner guide to theology from Grudem.
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem - Probably one of the best systematic theology's out there. Readable, clear, and even devotional. If you can only get one, get this one. But then get some more.
Christian History Made Easy by Timothy Paul Jones - Great primer on church history.

Decision Points by George Bush - Bush's own apologetic for his presidency. Revealing, interesting.
Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef - Islamic Jihadist turned Christian. Wow.
A Real Christian: The Life of John Wesley by Kenneth J. Collins - Wesley's life is amazing, and this is a very good biography of Wesley.

Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy - Yes. It's been years since reading Clancy. This one brings it all back for me! Super page-turner; gotta love Clancy.

Thank You For Arguing by Jay Heinrichs - So prideful and arrogant in tone. Still stuff to be learned. 
The Art of Deception: An Introduction to Critical Thinking by Capaldi & Smit - Tries to teach critical thinking in an interesting way, but fails in execution. Again, though, still things to glean.
The Elements of Persuasion by Robert Dickman - An okay book on rhetoric/communication.
Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons - Teaches you the importance of using stories in  your talks.
What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro - Sort of gimmicky, but still an interesting look at body language from an interrogator's perspective
In the Line of Fire: How to Handle Tough Questions... When it Counts by Jerry Weissman - Gives some great tips on how to answer when the pressure is on. Great tips and nuggets throughout.

Family & Christian Life
Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson - Hey, I've got girls. Good book - will return to periodically!
Disciplines of a Godly Man by Kent Hughes - A broad spectrum of areas for Christian men to work on.
Have a New Kid by Friday by Kevin Leman - Mixed feelings, took away some very good points.
A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller - Very moving and challenging in the first half. Second half fades a bit - but the first few chapters are powerful. 

What books should Apologetics 315 look at next year? Add your recommendations below...

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